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2А42 on the Mil Mi-28 helicopter

The Shipunov 2A42 is a Soviet/Russian 30 mm automatic cannon. It is built by the Tulamashzavod Joint Stock Company.

The 30 mm 2A42 cannon has a dual feed. One is for HE-T and the other for AP-T rounds. The gunner can select one of two rates of full automatic fire, low at 200 to 300 rds/min and high at 550 rds/min. According to the manufacturer, effective range when engaging ground targets such as light armoured vehicles is 1,500 m while soft-skinned targets can be engaged out to 2,500 m. Air targets can be engaged flying at low altitudes of up to 2,000 m at subsonic speeds and up to a slant range of 2,500 m. In addition to being installed in a two-person turret on the BMP-2 MICV, this gun is also fitted in the BMD-2 airborne combat vehicle, BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle and BTR-90 (or GAZ-5923) (8 × 8) armoured personnel carrier. A small number of these have now entered service. More recently, the 30 mm 2A42 cannon has been installed in a new turret and fitted onto the roof of the BTR-T heavy armoured personnel carrier based on a modified T-54/T-55 MBT chassis. The cannon is also the main armament of BMPT (Tank Support Fighting Vehicle). It is also used for various armament projects from various manufacturers. The design bureau for the 30 mm 2A42 cannon is the KBP Instrument Design Bureau.


The 2A42 fires 30x165 ammunition, a caliber introduced in 1970's in the Soviet Union to replace previous 30mm autocannon cartridges. Other weapons using this size of cartridge case include the 2A38 and 2A72 autocannons for various vehicle, helicopter and air defence applications, as well as numerous single-, dual- and six-barrel naval and air force cannons. The 2A42, 2A38 and 2A72 fire percussion-primed ammunition; the naval and aerial cannons use electrical priming, and therefore their ammunition is not interchangeable with the land-based ammunition types, despite the same cartridge case size.[1][2]

Originally three basic types of ammunition were developed in the Soviet Union for the land-based weapons: high explosive incendiary, high explosive fragmentation with tracer, and an armour-piercing ballistic capped with tracer. Later a sub-caliber armour piercing round was introduced, and today also countries other than Soviet Union/Russia manufacture 30x165 percussion-primed ammunition. The main types of ammunition are summarized in the table below:

Designation Type Projectile Weight [g] Bursting charge [g] Muzzle Velocity [m/s] Description
3UOF8 HEI 389 [3] 49 g[3] 960[3] A high explosive incendiary round wit A-670M nose fuze.[4] The fuze produces a 0.15 millisecond delay on impact, and a self-destruct mechanism detonating the projectile after 7.5 to 14.5 seconds of flight (3900–5300 m distance from muzzle).[1]
3UOR6 HE-T 385 [3] 11.5 g[3] 960[3] Nose-fuzed high explosive fragmentation tracer round, utilizing the same A-670M impact/self-destruct fuze as the 3UOF8.[4] Tracer burn time 10 to 14 seconds.
3UBR6 APBC-T 400 [3] none 970[3] Solid shot with blunt penetrator covered by a hollow windshield cap.[4] Tracer burn time 3.5 seconds. Penetration:

20mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 700 m range[3]
14mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m range[4]
18mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m range[5]

3UBR8 APDS 304 [3] none 1120[3] A sub-caliber discarding sabot. No tracer. Penetration:

25mm thick plate at 60 degree impact, 1500 m range[3][4][5]

M929 APFSDS-T ? none ? A sub-caliber fins-stabilized discarding sabot round with tracer from Belgian Mecar, with tungsten alloy penetrator.[6] Penetration:

55mm steel at 1000m, 45mm at 2000m range.[5]


The autocannon has been used since the 1980s on the following platforms:

Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Attack helicopters


  • Barrels: 1
  • Length: 3,027 mm
  • Weight: 115 kg
  • Rate of fire (sustained): 300 r/min
  • Rate of fire (max): 600 r/min
  • Armor penetration (60° sloping at 1,000 m): 18 – 25 mm
  • Muzzle velocity : 880 m/s (AP-T) - 1,120 m/s (APDS)
  • Effective range
    • Light armor: 1,500 m
    • Air targets: 3,000 m
    • Ground: 2,500 m
  • Type: Twin feed, gas operated mechanism
  • Calibre: 30 x 165 mm
  • Ammunition: APDS, AP-T, HE, HEI, HE-T, HETP-T, TP


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Janes Ammunition Handbook 2009, Cannon - 20 to 30 mm cannon.
  2. "Williams, Anthony G: An introduction to collecting 30mm cannon ammunition.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Land Forces Weapons, export catalogue, Rosoboronexport.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Russian Ammunition Page,
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Federation of American Scientists, BMP-2 Fighting Vehicle.

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